Earlier this September, at the ITS World Congress in Copenhagen, Volkswagen’s Executive Director Group Strategy New Business Ludger Fretzen, made an important statement: “Cars are not everything”.
His statement gains even much more importance after the German automaker announced last Friday a huge investment in electric vehicles. Over the coming five years to the end of 2023, the Company will be spending almost €44 billion alone on the future issues of e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization in its vehicles and at its plants. This represents approximately one-third of total expenditure for the 2019-2023 planning period and is the outcome of the Group’s planning round, which has now been completed and was discussed and endorsed by the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft at its meeting today.
“One aim of the Volkswagen Group’s strategy is to speed up the pace of innovation. We are focusing our investments on the future fields of mobility and systematically implementing our strategy”, Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said on Friday after the regular Supervisory Board meeting.
In addition to investment planning, the Supervisory Board also consulted on further groundbreaking future projects at its meeting on Friday. The talks with Ford about an industrial cooperation announced earlier are progressing positively so far. The two companies complement each other very well in terms of both products and regions. The joint development and manufacture of a range of light commercial vehicles is at the core of the envisaged cooperation.Volkswagen expects significant synergy effects from the potential to lower costs or increase performance via scales. Ford and Volkswagen will nevertheless remain competitors, as the proposed cooperation does in no way concern commercial, marketing or pricing strategies. Additional fields of cooperation outside the light commercial vehicle segment with the potential for expanding collaboration have also been identified.